Engine Turns Over But Won't Start

CarComplaints.com Seal Of This Might Hurt


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
123,450 miles
Total Complaints:
17 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (13 reports)
  2. changed electrical harness (1 reports)
  3. replace ignition switch (1 reports)
  4. replaced coil covers and spark plugs (1 reports)
  5. replaced spark plugs (1 reports)
2000 Oldsmobile Alero engine problems

engine problem

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2000 Oldsmobile Alero Owner Comments

problem #17

Feb 152009

Alero 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 157,000 miles


Car quit on me, towed to shop. Mechanic said timing chain. Bought that. & didn't fix.. He said need motor, I bought motor. Didn't fix..Bought spark plugs, wires, crank sensor, ignition module, ignition coils....didn't fix...Sat in yard for over a year and no one could fix or figure out problem......6 different mechanics tried. Sold to junk yard, then Oldsmobile recalls ignition switch...I keep getting card in mail to take in, but don't have it anymore...not right..I feel like they should buy me another car

- Crystal T., Dadeville, AL, US

problem #16

Aug 112015

Alero 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 181,486 miles

Had the engine replaced because it stalled on highway started shaking then died. Got the car back and ran good. Drove 26.4 miles parked it and now it will turn over and not start. My wife has medical issues and I take her to Dr. daily, but not today because no second car.

Update from Oct 6, 2015: found bad fuses and bad spark plug wires and replaced. running good.

- Lance D., Zap, US

problem #15

Aug 092012

Alero 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,836 miles

I bought the car about 1 month ago. car turns over but doesn't start, security light flashing. I looked this problem up and found the same thing under 2001 but not under 2000. I just scrapped a 2001 Impala because the problems became too much (in the year and a half that I owned it I put over $3000 in repairs to not fix: sensors mostly) I want to dump this new one in a river somewhere if it wouldn't cause an environmental disaster. I am getting sick of GMs

- lawrenceon, St. Vatharines, ON, canada

problem #14

Sep 052011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,000 miles



- flofton, Sibley, LA, US

problem #13

Apr 012010

Alero GL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

Car wouldn't start. Had to have it towed. Mechanic replaced spark plugs and air filter, got it running again. Still runs like crap, though.

- Will C., Tallahassee, FL, US

problem #12

Mar 202011

Alero GL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

Car died while driving on the interstate. Had to drift it over onto the shoulder. Towed it to Firestone, they couldn't figure out what was wrong with it. Had it towed to a local dealer, who replaced the spark plugs and coil covers. Car still runs like crap. Avoid if possible.

- Will C., Tallahassee, FL, US

problem #11

Dec 012010

Alero 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 170,000 miles


Car won't start sometimes, after several tries it starts. When it does start you can here the fuel pump run before cranking. I've replaced the fuel filter, fuel pump, wiring harness, pressure regulator, Positive wires on battery, Fuel pressure relay switch and upper o2 censor. ALL with negative results. I'm now at a loss and out of money! The hand held scanners are useless. I'm going to try taking it to a mechanic that can test on a bigger machine, hope this works.If not then it's to the Target range, where we can finally get real satisfaction from this pile of junk. If anyone out there has found the problem with these (2000 Olds Alero V-6 3.4) please help! Wife won't let me shoot it just yet! If I find the problem before everyone else does I'll surly post it to help.

Update from May 31, 2011: Boat Anchor for Sale: Manufactured by GM.My wife's car has had problems starting for the last several months, I'm sure I don't have to explain, if you've read the other horror stories on this POS. Anyways I was researching the 2001 Alero and found that they have the same problem (Engine turns but does not start). The problem lies in the security pass code. Mechanics (Dealership Mechanics) are ripping people off by replacing a switch or relay or something of the sort, days later.......car won't start again! This is what I found under 2001 Alero section of this web site. What to do!

1.Pull Radio out, leave plugged in and let it hang. 2. Locate Yellow wire coming from ignition switch. 3. Start Car 4. Leave running for 15 to 20 minutes. 5. After 15 to 20 minutes snip Yellow wire. "IMPORTANT" do not shut car off during this step...Leave running while snipping wire. 6. Cover wire ends with tape and shut car off. 7. Reinstall stereo and your done.

The security light will now be on for ever, but the problem is fixed.Put some electrical tape over the red light if it bothers you. It's also possible to put a toggle switch in line of the yellow wire so you can shut it off when needed. I hope this helps, and one more thing, Please support those that are pushing for recall of this problem or possible lawsuits. Good Luck!

- Richard B., Nampa, ID, US

problem #10

Mar 222010

Alero LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 133,136 miles

My car starts but then shuts back down. After several attempts of doing this, it finally just shuts all the way down and will not start back up.

- Nancy G., PEORIA, IL, US

problem #9

Mar 132010

Alero GL 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,930 miles

driving down the highway car quit would not restart but would turn over,scanned for codes none found,security light stays on but not flashing tried leaving key on for 10mins but still doesnt start,can hear fuel pump running installed fuel pressure gauge found 58lbs spec is 60lbs approx.this is not the first or second time this has happened so far no acciedents as a result of problem.as a mechanic a car manufacture should be held responsible for the costs everone has acured tring to fix these pieces of sh*t for them!as yet I havent a fix but working on it will kept post updated.

- i-ross1, Bluffton, Alberta, Canada

problem #8

Apr 222007

Alero LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles

I purchased my car in feb. of 2007, it wasn't long before my turn signals stop working and then my check engine light would start blinking while I would be in driving and the car started rocking back and forth like a rocking chair so i figured it might have been from bad gas so i took it to Goodyear and had a tuneup $800.00. After that it was okay for about 3 months or so it started not wanting to crank so we had a fuel pump replaced next day the car wouldn't say s**t! after i let it sit for a while it crunk right up and it is now 2009 and the car is just getting worse and I can't aford to buy another car, I am a single parent with 3 children and i just can aford to purchase a new car at this time. I really wish that something could be done about this because I'm afraid to go places because ashame of it not wanting to crank. Their has been many nights my children and I have been stranded on side of the road because of the car going dead while driving. Why won't they put these cars on RECALL!!!!!!! If GM decides to do so could some one please email me at shonda_keys@yahoo.com There should be some type of lawsuit for all the pain and suffering my car has put me through not be able to go to work I have been fired on so many jobs because I dont have a dependable ride.

- shonda_keys, Columbia, MS, US

problem #7

Aug 182009

Alero GL 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,236 miles


Help! My engine turns over but won't start. Hooked it up to a code reader but it says there is no problem. Tried leaving the key on for 10 min.-still nothing. If anyone has any suggestions, please post them! Car is a 2000 Oldsmobile Alero. Thanks.

- Kristina J., Bunkie, LA, US

problem #6

May 082009

Alero GL 2.4L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

HERES THE PROBLEM!!! Im writing on here because I have no idea how to fix my car. Heres the weird story. My wife was driving on the highway and hit something she described as a bolt. (she said it was the size of a rim). It went under my car and ripped my exhaust off the manifold ( which of course made my car sound like a tractor. So I took the exhaust off and had it welded and I put it back on. The other thing I noticed after it was fixed was my service engine soon light was on. I drove it home and it drove fine. The next day my wife took the car again to run errands and had no problems. The following day I woke up and got in the car to go to work. I started the car and it started up and was idling for a few seconds and then it just died. I tried to start it up but it didnt sound like I had fire at all. (like as if I didnt have gas or something, but I had a half of a tank). So i towed the car to my step fathers house because hes a mechanic and actually fixes cars out of his house for a living. We tested for spark and figured out it had no spark! So we tried taking off the ignition module and having it tested but it passed! So we moved on trying by replacing the ignition switch, the computer, the camshaft sensor, and the crankshaft sensor. We checked EVERY fuse and even took the fuse box off and tested to make sure there was power to it. My step dad now has been working on the car further and is very frustrated!!!! He says there is no fuel or spark! Like as if I have a power issue.

Were wondering if we had the right idea by replacing the computer but we should have rebooted it or something???? Im not sure at all. (Im lucky because he has a chevy malibu with my exact engine and I can try to change out anything to see if that solves the issue). So I had switched the computers to see if that would work and that didnt work.

Im hoping someone can help me!!! When I turn the key on my security light is on so I read in the owners manual and it says that its normal.... I would be very appreciative if someone can steer me in the right direction. I have been trying to use the process of elimination but I feel as though I have eliminated everything I can think of. My email is texazfan07@yahoo.com... Thanks

- Mike J., Baytown, TX, US

problem #5

Apr 022008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,000 miles

I amazingly had the same problem as u guys but it was a combination of engine shutting off then not starting. Found that the engine shut off cause the fuel pressure was wrong. Took it to a shop and they changed the fuel pump and the lines, problem solved. About two weeks after the stupid thing wont turn over. Got the battery check...its good. After being in the shop for over a week not starting and getting no codes from the car the shop was just as confused as I was. They finally found that the wires to the fuel pump was bad and that, that had fried some fuses as well. They changed the harness, and its starts just fine now. Not sure if this will help but if they say its not electrical and its a fuel prob then see if your fuses are burnt and that the wires to the fuel pump are good.

- Willis B., N Las Vegas, NV, US

problem #4

Nov 032005

(reported on)

Alero GL

  • 110,000 miles

All problems with Alero:

-Power steering went out at 70k -Coolant gaskets leaked for so long that I was putting coolant in every week -dashboard covering peeled off -cruise control quit working when the car was 3 years old -drivers window motor broke -drivers side back window falls open when you drive it -blinkers don't blink normally, they are all erratic -brake lights went out, and all bulbs and taillights are working, they think it's wiring or a sensor -car won't start when it rains or if it's damp -makes a clunking noise when you try to start it -front brakes need to be replaced 2x a year. The front right caliper sticks and causes fast and uneven wear on the brake pads -CD player never works right -front speakers went out when the car was 2yrs

All of these problems seems to be common to the Alero, as many others have reported the same things.

My brakes alone had to be fixed frequently enough to certify this car as a lemon.

- Anya S., Dearborn, MI, US

problem #3

Nov 142007

Alero 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

If anyone can help me out please do.. Idk if it could be electrical. the security light doesnt flash and i left my key in for awhile. It seems this has only happened when its started to get cold. PLease help

- Paul M., Hagerhill, KY, US

problem #2

Jan 192007

(reported on)

Alero V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

I bought this car for my daughter when I sent her off to college. It's starting to turn into a p.o.s. When it gets below 1/4 tank of gas it will not start. If it's running it's ok but if you turn it off with less then 1/4 tank - no start. This has happened 3 times. Service light came on and she took it to autozone and they said it was a "fuel leak" i. e. gas cap. she bought a new cap did not fix the problem. I will not waste $$$$ to have a $tealership not fix the problem. There should be a law for that. Throwing parts at it and to still not fix the problem is just not right. This car will be traded in A.S.A.P.

- Gary A., Galesburg, IL, US

problem #1

Nov 082006

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I noticed that many are having the same problem I HAD. The engine turns over, but won't start, right? Makes you think that no fuel is getting to the engine, or there's no spark. Wrong and wrong. I discovered that by holding the key in the ignition at a special angle, the engine would fire up. Being a former parts man, this told me that the ignition switch was bad. I did some investigating, and discovered that AC Delco had changed the part number for the ignition switch, telling me, that there was a defect in the design of the part. I replaced the ignition switch myself, with minimal hardship. Make sure that you get a Haynes service manual for this car. As I recall, there was some specific instructions regarding the replacement which could keep you from having a bad day. I have owned the car for two years since replacement of the ignition switch, AND HAVE HAD NO FURTHER TROUBLE!

Hope this helps!

- Shane O., Tahlequah, OK, US

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